The impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s red card against Athletic Bilbao has made Carlos Gurpegui’s week one of the toughest of his career.
Gurpegui confronted Ronaldo during their 1-1 Liga draw on February 2 and the Portugal international appeared to slap the 29-year-old, leading to him being dismissed by referee Miguel Ayza.
Real Madrid have appealed the decision but those appeals have been rejected and Ronaldo is currently serving a three-match ban.
While a lot of the focus has been on Ronaldo, Gurpegui revealed it had not been an easy week for him either.
“I left the game satisfied to have held Real Madrid, but I was not aware of what was going to happen next,” he told Marca. “And that was a point of concern.
“Cristiano called out (for a penalty) and I tell him it was not and I push him a little in the chest.
“That is when he touched my face and I fell.
“My reaction was to go to the ground, without any intention for the referee to eject him without previous provocation.
“The easy thing would have been to be thrown on the floor, but I think I’m a noble person.
“I’m not the boy of 22 who tested positive (Gurpegui tested positive for nandrolone in 2002).
“I have a family and a daughter and it hurts me that things that are said about me come to her ears.”